West Ham v Norwich – Match Preview

Sebastien Bassong (Norwich)Norwich will be looking to make a New Year’s resolution to find the resolve they had not all that long ago. Chris Hughton’s men went on their best ever Premier League run of 10 matches unbeaten before recently suffering three defeats on the bounce.

The Canaries will be hoping a short trip to East London will be able to revive their fortunes. A latest setback was their rollercoaster match which could have ended up going either way.

Sebastien Bassong and Samir Nasri clashing heads was the main talking point of the game and it nearly swung the game away from the defending Premier League Champions.

Norwich have fallen down to 11th position as a result and will be hoping to stay in touch with the top half of the table rather than be dragged down into the messy relegation dogfight.

West Ham have their own problems too mind.  They have barely been able to pick up any wins recently and only have 5 points in their last eight league outings.

This includes three defeats in their last four for Sam Allarydyce’s men and the last one against Reading would have particularly hurt as they would have hoped for a point at minimum from that fixture.

At Upton Park they have a chance to capitalise on their home advantage and Sam Allardyce will be expecting a good start to the New Year and a first 3 points of 2013 against Norwich.

The Hammers will be without suspended captain Kevin Nolan and they will miss their top goalscorer after receiving his fifth booking of the season. Collins is suspended too, and Carroll remains a long term absentee alongside Mohamed Diame.

Bradley Johnson is out for Norwich for exactly the same reason Nolan is for West Ham. Striker Steve Morison (thigh) is doubtful as is Grant Holt (hamstring) so Harry Kane could lead in attack. Steven Whittaker (hip) and winger Andrew Surman (hip) continue their rehabilitation and John Ruddy is not ready for a comeback yet either.

39% of Norwich’s goals this season have come from direct or indirect free-kicks so they will be wary on set pieces at Upton Park come Saturday.

Prediction: West Ham 2-0 Norwich

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